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String 'em up!


Hi everyone,

Iwould like to ask what you prefer to usefor stringing up precious
gemstone and precious metal beads for seriously hoity-toity bling.
Nylon? Silk? Metal-coated nylon? Power Pro? Fireline?

Obviously, one would need something that is durable and long-lasting,
and would not be cut withgemstone beads"especially thosebeads that
are rough or nuggets.And, one would also need something that would
holdweight. So, what is your material of choice for uptown jewelry?

Thanx and keep shining,


SoftFlex. They offer a range of widths, different plys depending on
the drape you want, and also offer it in silver and gold, copper, and
a range of colors. Silk would be cut by the metal and gemstone beads,
as would any other organic or fiber based thread. I’ve used Fireline,
but don’t really like it. I find I prefer SoftFlex. They also offer a
nice discount, although not true wholesale, to jewelry designers if
you have a tax id number and are buying in quantity.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio


If the holes are large enough, I would use the largest 49 strand
tiger tail that would fit. (Beadalon’s 49 strand is available
in.013" /.33mm up to .03"/.76mm through Rio). The 49 strand drapes
well, resists kinking and is the strongest tiger tail available.

If I have to knot between the gemstone beads, I use the heaviest
Stringth that will fit in the holes. Stringth is a synthetic thread
(Rio sells it), comes in colors but white can be dyed (or marked
with a permanent marker, dried, then cleaned with acetone until
color does not come off any more) to match the beads.

Custom Pearl and Bead Stringing


Hi, Devora -

Independent of heaviness, I prefer using silk for everything. I like
the way it knots and I love the liquid drape of a necklace strung on

There is an exception, though: if the holes of the beads are
native-drilled (e.g., drilled by hand from either side, meeting in
the center of the bead), the quick solution is Softfelx as Beth
says. The longer, more OCD way is smoothing out the drill holes with
a diamond sintered bead reamer…and then stringing on silk. In a
perfect world, beads, pearls, etc., have been drilled by lasers,
which leave one smooth hole.

Do let us know how you make out.

Kind regards,
Mary Stachura


Hi Devora,

I like Soft Flex beading wire. It has a plastic coating that you can
get in various colors, lasts and is durable. I’ve never had a
problem with it.

Happy stringing,
Vicki K in SoCal


Devora - I never string stones on silk alone because, as you point
out, the sharp edges will saw right through. I use the Soft Flex in
different colors, like the gold colored, the black, etc., to add a
little interest - lately I’ve been getting into using a smaller
diameter Soft Flex AND some colored silk, to knot between each
stone, to add texture. I’m hoping that the Soft Flex takes the stress
and the beads won’t saw through the silk, but time, and road testing
my own pieces, will tell for sure. Experimentation and road testing
are my suggestions!

Susan “Sam” Kaffine
Sterling Bliss


One of the hardest things for me in teaching is having to let
students do it the hard, longer or more difficult way because they
have trouble changing, or learning a new way. You have to realize it
is the best way for the student and move on.

Steve Ramsdell